Friday, April 25, 2014

Florida Coastal Dean Search Process

Maryann Jones, Dean Emeritus of Western State, is the Chair of the Florida Coastal Dean Search. She was kind enough to share the process being used by the school to conduct the search. It is:

Florida Coastal School of Law (FCSL) is conducting its dean search in compliance with ABA Standards. The process is designed to be extremely inclusive, with participation by all relevant stakeholders, to include faculty, staff, students, board members, and alumni. Candidates are thoroughly vetted by the faculty, which has significant representation on the Dean Search Committee. The Committee ultimately makes recommendations to the Board of Directors, which makes the final decision. 

The FCSL Search Committee began the application collection process in fall 2013. At that time, the Committee began to review resumes and invited a select group of candidates for telephone interviews. Candidates who successfully completed the phone interviews were invited to participate in an external assessment. Based upon the telephone interviews as well as the external assessment, the committee chose a group of candidates to proceed to the campus interview stage, wherein the candidate met with groups of faculty, students, staff, and administrators.

After on-campus meetings are completed, the Committee will seek feedback from faculty students and staff, and recommend final candidates for potential consideration to the Board of Directors. The Committee is required to recommend six candidates to the President and Board of Directors, and will continue the process until six candidates are selected.

We respect the privacy of each candidate and treat the details of the process as confidential to maintain the integrity of the process and the respect for all individuals involved. We are confident that this process will result in the selection of a great leader for Florida Coastal School of Law. 

April 25, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Florida Coastal Dean Search Raises Deeper Issues

The editors of this blog have received disturbing reports from sources inside the Florida Coastal School of Law regarding its dean search.

We have been told that the search itself has been fairly typical. Applicants were screened by a search committee, which then selected candidates for in-depth phone interviews.  Those selected to move on from the phone interviews then went through multiple interviews and assessments with outside talent evaluation agencies. From that process, the seven finalists were chosen for on-campus interviews.

The on-campus process involved dinner with the President of the school, and then a meeting with the staff and faculty during a series of small groups sessions the following day. Each candidate was to give a presentation on the candidate’s vision for the school to the full faculty at lunch the day of the interview.  That is fairly standard for dean searches nationwide.

One oddity was that the faculty was told they could only exclude one of the seven candidates from consideration. In effect, that means that the faculty has very little role in selecting the dean from the six remaining candidates. That is odd, but not particularly alarming, provided that the faculty had a significant role in the selection of candidates.

The disturbing part of the report involves a candidate who raised concerns about the school’s declining student credentials and bar pass rates. That candidate was asked to leave in the middle of the lunch presentation. The candidate resisted, but was told that security would be called to remove the candidate from campus. This all happened in the view of about 40 faculty and staff present at this presentation, which was being recorded so others who were teaching class could see it later. 

Th econcerns raised by the dean candidate are supported by publicly available information showing that the 2013 entering class at Coastal had the following 75/50/25 LSAT profile: (148/144/141). Reports indicate that the students who have placed seat deposits in 2014 have a virtually identical profile as the 2013 entering class.

The LSAT in 2008 and 2009 was (153/150/147). In 2010 the numbers were (152/149/146). The decline continued to in the succeeding years (151/147/145) in 2011 and (151/146/143) in 2012. 

As might have been  predicted, the weaker entering class of 2010 had a low bar pass rate, 67% for first time takers on the July 2013 Florida bar.  This was the first time in several years that Florida Coastal had dropped below 70%.


April 22, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Conference Announcement: Second National Symposium on Experiential Education in Law

Registration has opened online for the 

Second National Symposium on Experiential Education in Law

June 13 – 15, 2014 in Greensboro, North Carolina

Hosted by Elon University School of Law and the Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law

Featured speakers include William C. Hubbard, President Elect of the American Bar Association, and Bill Henderson, Professor of Law, Maurer School of Law at Indiana University at Bloomington

The registration fee is $100. Visit to register and to learn more about the symposium. Contact Jane Law at Elon University School of Law with any questions related to registration: [email protected] or (336) 279-9325.


When almost 300 legal educators, judges, lawyers and law students met in Boston 18 months ago for the first national symposium on experiential education in law, they recognized the changing landscape of legal education focusing on effective and integrated experiential education to accommodate limited finances and changes in the profession. These pioneers committed to developing thoughtful and innovative approaches to improve legal education and enhance the relevance of lawyers in the rapidly changing 21st century. 

The 2014 symposium will present the findings of the working groups organized by the Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law with the help of legal educators, judges and lawyers from over 100 law schools and many other enterprises across the legal profession and provide examples of innovation from other professions that can inform how legal educators can adapt to changing paradigms. These working groups have focused on important issues that must define legal education now and for the future.

What do we mean by experiential learning?

What are the → Innovations → Barriers → Successes in producing integrated and effective curricula?

What ideas have the Alliance Working Groups developed since the Inaugural Symposium?

What perspective can other disciplines provide regarding our efforts?


This event is being organized by:


The Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law Steering Committee

Cindy Adcock, Charlotte School of Law

Margaret Barry, Vermont Law School

Luke Bierman, Northeastern University School of Law

Susan Brooks, Drexel University School of Law

Christine Cimini, Vermont Law School

Roberto Corrada, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver

Bob Dinerstein, Washington College of Law, American University

Steve Ellmann, New York Law School

Deborah Epstein, Georgetown Law

Bob Jones, The Law School, University of Notre Dame

Kate Kruse, Hamline University School of Law

Susan Reich Paulsen, University of Minnesota Law School

Ruthane Robbins, Rutgers University School of Law

Pat Coughlan Voorhies, Northeastern University School of Law


Second National Symposium on Experiential Learning in Law Planning Committee

Steve Friedland, Co-Chair, Elon University School of Law

Margaret Barry, Co-Chair, Vermont Law School

Bill Henderson, Co-Chair, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Christy Benson, Elon School of Business

Olympia Duhart, Nova University School of Law

Jim Exum, Elon University School of Law; Former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court

Bill McNichol, Reed Smith; Rutgers University School of Law

Madeline Obler-Grill, Elon Law Journal

Gene Pridgen, K&L Gates; Immediate Past President, North Carolina Bar Association

Vivian Wexler, Bingham McCutchen

Pat Coughlan Voorhies, Northeastern University School of Law

April 15, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ABA Placement Statistics Released

The ABA placement data for each law school has been released, and can be found at:

April 9, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunset Boulevard?

Recently, my daughter had a part in Oxford High School’s production of “Sunset Boulevard.” She astutely noted that advances technology had changed or destroyed the careers of many people in the movie industry, including Gloria Swanson, who starred as Norma Desmond in the classic film. One of Norma’s classic lines in Sunset Boulevard is “I am big! It's the pictures that got small.” She also says “We didn't need dialogue. We had face.” Norma’s inability to accept changes in her industry and adapt to them would lead to her downfall.

Technology has changed the legal profession, and nothing can reverse that. In the long run it will lower overhead costs, and provide more efficient access to legal services. It will allow small firms to compete with big firms. Technology is transformative, which is scary, but it is not a bad thing. The law schools and lawyers that adapt to these changes will be just fine. Those who do not will be Norma Desmond.

April 9, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)